President Barack Obama announced today that he had invited Congressional Republican leaders to come to the White House to discuss ways of the avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
The posturing appeared aimed at pressuring the GOP as the one holding the middle-class hostage if they don’t come to the bargaining table with a deal and the cliff is reached. Obama used the same tactic last year successfully to get Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut.
Obama has invited leaders to the White House next week to begin negotiations on how to deal with the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, $1.2 billion in automatic spending cuts and another hike in the debt ceiling.
Carney said that the meeting with Congressional leaders will take place next Friday. Obama will also hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Earlier today, Boehner reiterated his stance that tax rate hikes are off the table, but he said that deductions on business and personal income should be part of the negotiations.
“I propose that we avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that ensures that 2013 is the year our government finally comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has joined Boehner in reiterating that Republicans will not raise tax rates as part of any potential budget deal.
Boehner has repeatedly warned that Republicans could not support any increase in tax rates but has said Republicans would support revenue via tax reform, which would include cutting tax loopholes and deductions and lowering rates.
Obama did not mention another extension of the payroll tax cut, which is controversial both in his administration and on Capitol Hill, where Democrats are split.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.